Arriving on the train to Prato felt like visiting a small town in England, except i was in Italy. I met CCT for a coffee and pastry in the morning and headed straight to Studio Corte 17 . Upon my arrival in late autumn i saw huge signs directing me to the studio for the Tai Tuscany Art industry festival where i was staying. The festival is organised by artist Chiara Bettazzi each year featuring tours and walkthroughs of the abandoned factories all around Prato, known historically for its economy which was based on the textile industry.
We entered into the ‘Orto in fabbrica’ courtyard filled with a large collection of plants and eccentric outdoor furniture and art. I loved it!
This beautiful studio was once home to Chiara, and is now used for art purposes only, with the possibility of it being opened up for other artist in the future! The whole of the ground floor is spacious and inspirational filled with Bettazzi’s art pieces, a grand kitchen and working space with bits of her previous projects on display in every crevice and the top floor is a cosy bedroom loft overlooking the ground floor of the studio.It has authentic and rustic interior with different sculptures on display as soon as you enter the converted warehouse. Waking up in the place was so peaceful. Light floods the studio in the early morning and gently waking you up to a space full or inspiration. I couldn’t help but feel incredibly lucky to be one of the first artists to stay there.
Chiara’s work is inspired by nature and its effect on old industrial pieces thus combining these two element in a modern sculpture form.
I was lucky enough to be hosted over a weekend therefore i got to see how this artistic courtyard come alive at night with two clubs also within the courtyard. It gradually became full of life just after 1am on a Saturday night with student types from all around Prato coming out to party together. It was a strange transition from the peaceful city by day. There were live bands playing in one open warehouse and some heavy techno music blasting from another club. What i loved about this whole set up is it went on until the early morning and these venues weren’t your typical club atmosphere they seemed sort of DIY club entries with tables as ‘ticket booth’ and even the local mayor came out to party.
Not to mention the studio came well equipped with adorable fluffy animals! You can check out the rest of my fabulous stay on my instagram @laurellekamara.
#CCTravellers for TAI 2018